The Royals announced that left-hander Jake Brentz had successful left elbow UCL reconstruction surgery.
The club hasn’t yet provided any further details about the surgery or the expected recovery timeline for Brentz. Although “Tommy John surgery” is the colloquial name for surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament, the club didn’t use that terminology in their announcement. Tommy John usually comes with a recovery period of 12 to 18 months, but there are other procedures that deal with damaged UCLs. For instance, Sean Doolittle of the Nationals just underwent an internal brace procedure that has a recovery timeline of five-to-six months.
Regardless of how long Brentz is out, it seems like 2022 will go down as a lost season at the very least. The timing is unfortunate for Brentz, as he was looking to build off a strong debut in 2021. He threw 64 innings out of the Royals’ bullpen last year with a 3.66 ERA, 49% ground ball rate and 27.3% strikeout rate, though a high 13.3% walk rate.
This year, he was able to throw 5 1/3 innings for the club before landing on the injured list in late April. He was shelled to the tune of 14 earned runs in that time, leading to an unsightly 23.63 ERA, though it seems fair to surmise that his damaged ligament deserves some of the blame for that. He is already on the 60-day injured list, having been transferred there in June, meaning this won’t have an impact on roster construction for Kansas City.
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